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Thomas Eakins

Born: Philadelphia, PA, 25 July 1844
Died: Philadelphia, PA, 25 June 1916
Nationality: American

son of a Scottish-Irish weaver


Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1862); with Jean-Léon Gérôme at Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1866-69, Paris); with sculptor Augustin-Alexandre Dumont; with portrait painter Léon Bonnat


1870 – returns to Philadelphia after studying in Europe

1876 – Gross Clinic rejected from Centennial Exposition, but Dr Gross sponsors its exhibition in a medical pavilion

1882 – becomes Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

1884 – assists Eadweard Muybridge in motion studies at the University of Pennsylvania

1886 – forced to resign as Director of Pennsylvania Academy

1889 – commissioned to paint the Agnew Clinic by graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School

1901 – wins prize at Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY

1904 – wins prize at Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis, MO

1917 - memorial exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)


Paris (1866-69); Spain (1869-70); Dakota Territory (1886)

Commissions from: 

1889 graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Important Artworks: 

The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake, 1873 (Cleveland Museum of Art)

Swimming, 1885 (Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth)

The Agnew Clinic, 1889 (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Web Resources

Metmuseum: Eakins

smarthistory: Eakins, Gross Clinic